Given the potential headaches traveling these days, there’s merit in the saying, “Vacation starts when you get to the airport!” In that same vein, unless you are chartering your own flight, you should expect that part of your trip down to Acklins Island will include a night in Nassau.
There are two scheduled flights from Nassau to Acklins per week. One on Saturdays and the other on Wednesdays. Both flights leave Nassau at 8:30am and arrive Acklins at 9:45am. On the return the flights depart Acklins at 10:05am and arrive Nassau at 11:55am so you should have no trouble reaching your final destination on the same day.
Travel arrangements can be made directly with BahamasAir. Flights can be booked by calling them at (800) 222-4262 toll free from the USA, or direct at (242) 702-4140 open until 7:30pm. You can also book tickets directly on their website www.bahamasair.com. The Acklins Island airport is called Spring Point (AXP).
For those with plenty of time and a good book there is also the Mail-boat option with Cost: $90 one way. The Mail-boat's name is "United Star" and sails to Acklins - Spring Point / Colonel Hill / Long Cay; duration is 26 hours one way. Call Mrs. Hanna at (242) 341-3468 or (242) 393-1064 for departure dates since the boat leaves Nassau every 10 days.
WHERE TO STAY IN NASSAU
Nassau has numerous hotels and depending upon your preferences you may enjoy a night at one of the glamorous hotel-casinos, or if you prefer a quieter experience, many of our guests have stayed at and enjoyed the Orange Hill Inn. Their rates are extremely reasonable and they are close to the airport (a plus since traffic can be heavy downtown). You can click on the following link to learn more (www.orangehill.com) or call them directly at (888)399-3698 or (242)327-7157.
WHAT TO BRING
Rods: An 8 wt rod has proven to be an all around excellent choice for the flats fishing on Acklins. It provides an excellent balance of power to cast through a breeze and finesse to make a quiet presentation to tailing fish. More often than not you’ll be casting to fish that are less than 60’ from you, so choose a rod with which you are comfortable making quick, accurate casts. A 9wt or 10wt is a good second choice for barracudas and permit.
Reels: Many people prefer mid or large arbor reels to help retrieve line after the blistering first run of a bonefish. We’ve found that almost any saltwater reel will work on the flats as long as the drag works well! Bring a reel with an excellent drag and 200 yards of backing and you’ll be fine-just remember to keep your fingers off the handle on that first run!
Lines: A weight forward floating line will be perfect for 99% of what you encounter here. The island environment can be hard on equipment and the cold water lines of the north will not stand up to our conditions. You would be well served to bring a bonefish line or warm weather equivalent. If you are looking for a change of pace from fishing the flats, a sinking line and clouser can be effective in the channels and near the reef.
Leaders: A 9’ 12lb or 10lb leader will work on most days but be prepared to extend it a couple feet if they’re being picky or shorten it if the winds blowing. Floro-carbon leaders aren’t necessary but we do recommend adding a floro carbon tippet section.
Flies: The bonefish on Acklins have not seen that many flies and have not developed the same sense of “refinement” that their Florida cousins have. Most bonefish patterns will work on any given day here. Of course, that’s the difficult (fun) part, finding the right fly for your day. Flies in sizes #6 and #4 will do the job most often, but it’s a good idea to have a few #8’s and #2’s in case. Depending on your fishing style you may loose 10-30 flies on a week.
Some of the basic patterns that work well are:
- Traditional Gotchas and “Crazy Leg” Gotchas in tan, brown and root beer;
- Crazy Charlies similar colors;
- Mantis shrimp;
- Puffs pink and brown;
- Snapping / Spawning Shrimp in brown and olive;
- Bunny Bones;
- Clouser Minnows, white and chartreuse;
- Crab patterns for permit and larger bonefish.
Also, don’t forget a few barracuda patterns as well-anything long and green will work fine.
We have a tying vise at the lodge for the convenience of our guests, but you should plan on bringing your own materials as supplies are extremely limited here.
Other Items to Bring:
A basic list of things to bring include:
One of the great charms about Acklins is its unspoiled nature. Acklins is a true “Out Island” and as such supplies can be limited. Therefore it may be beneficial if you bring any comfort items you need to make your visit more pleasant. Optional items that guests have brought and swear by include:
You can check the general area's weather forecast.